Wednesday, October 5, 2016

WHAT TO DO WITH A FAILED SAMBAWAN ISLAND VISIT

WHAT TO DO WITH A FAILED SAMBAWAN ISLAND VISIT

Travel time from Tacloban City to Naval Biliran is approximately 2.5 hours but due to heavy traffic and downpour en route, it took us almost 4 hours to reach Almeria, Biliran.

Our main mission for traveling to Biliran is simply for Sambawan Island.  The famed island is not that easy to reach.  Even on a slightly good weather, the seas are rough and wave movements is unpredictable, as shared by friends.  Inevitably, the worst is expected on our case as there is a low pressure area affecting the province of Biliran on our visit.


We booked our accommodations at Agta Beach Scuba Resort of Almeria, Biliran.  Though it is the first scuba resort in the province, we were not there for that purpose.  The beach front accommodation serves as a gateway to the island hopping adventures of the province and that includes Sambawan Island.  The resort made the arrangements for us.  In the true sense of provincial hospitality service, they were efficient and accommodating.


WHAT TO DO WITH A FAILED SAMBAWAN ISLAND VISIT

We were informed beforehand during breakfast that there might be a possibility of not pushing through with the navigation to Sambawan Island and so they offered other islands for snorkelling and simply to swim.  But the persistent selves we have attempted to go to Sambawan Island, passing by some islands nearby.


WHAT TO DO WITH A FAILED SAMBAWAN ISLAND VISIT

DALUTAN ISLAND

A privately-owned underdeveloped beach is visible at a distance from Agta Beach Scuba Resort.  Even with the nearly zero visibility while traversing the seas en route to the island and us completely drenched by the waves and the rain, the thin strip of pristine white sand beach is still apparent.  The island is named Dalutan.



Basic huts and open cottages are available for rent at a minimal amount.  Mainly covered by trees and with a good vantage viewpoint for nearby islands, the beach is good for picnics and snorkelling.  It is also a good dive spot as shared by the locals and divemaster Melo Sabitsana, who came with us in this supposed island hopping.


WHAT TO DO WITH A FAILED SAMBAWAN ISLAND VISIT

WHAT TO DO WITH A FAILED SAMBAWAN ISLAND VISIT

Despite the heavy rain, I enjoyed the short swim at the island and I can feel the powdery white sand of the beach though a portion is covered by stones and corals near the shores.

And we moved to another island with the hope of going to the direction where Higatangan Island and Sambawan Island is.

CAPINYAHAN ISLAND

Fronting the town of Almeria and off the west coast of Biliran, we set foot on another island that is still untouched by commerce.  The island is best for campers but there are no ready food supplies, thus, it is advisable to bring sufficient amount for your group. 

WHAT TO DO WITH A FAILED SAMBAWAN ISLAND VISIT

We were the only group roaming around the island.  The shade of trees and mangroves were in a number to provide a panoramic landscape for the island.  The white sand and clear waters were tempting but we opted to walk a few meters and stayed on a hill overlooking the seas for a few minutes.

Then it was decided Sambawan Island and Higatangan would no longer be possible for a visit.  With time constraints and in a few hours, we need to go back to Tacloban City, we decided to go direct to Caibiran, Biliran.

MAINIT HOTSPRING

Redundant as the name suggests, the spring is indeed hot and refreshing.  The watering hole does not only have heated waters available but also a flowing spring water in its river located below the man-made basin.  At one corner we witnessed locals converge and in a steaming small pool, hard-boiled eggs were cooked.


WHAT TO DO WITH A FAILED SAMBAWAN ISLAND VISIT

The pool is fed by water coming from Mt. Suiro, a dormant volcano that last erupted in the year 1939.  It is said that the geothermally heated groundwater was one of the basis for the possibility of having a geothermal plant in the Biliran province. There is a small open cottage as well for holding of picnics.


WHAT TO DO WITH A FAILED SAMBAWAN ISLAND VISIT

TINAGO FALLS

This is my second time to visit Tinago Falls, our last destination for the day before we head back to Tacloban City.  The falls is situated at the center of Caibiran rainforest.  A minimal amount for admission is asked for visitors, allocated for preservation.

The cool sounds of the rushing streams was relaxing.  We were the only visitors of the area back then.




The activities for the day indeed compensated what could have been a Sambawan Island experience.  There’s always a next time and we hope the skies would clear and the weather cooperates the next time around.

Where to Stay in Biliran:

Agta Beach Resort
Biliran Circumferential Road, Almeria, Biliran
Mobile No.: (0939) 0622-56265
Email: info@agtabeachresort.com


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